The intention is to reward excellence and the highest level of conservation craftsmanship and to allow the winning repair work to be presented as an example to others.
The award itself will take the form of a scroll featuring a specially commissioned print by John Piper of a church much loved by Sir John Betjeman, with a suitable inscription. The winner will be announced at the Society’s AGM in the summer; in the Society’s magazine; and on the SPAB website.
1. Entry forms are available on application to the SPAB, 37 Spital Square, London, E1 6DY, or can be downloaded from the Society’s website www.spab.org.uk. They should normally be signed by the Incumbent or Churchwarden in respect of Anglican buildings, by the Bishop or Priest in respect of Roman Catholic buildings, by the Minister or an Elder in respect of Non-Conformist buildings, or by their equivalent in the case of other faiths. Cathedrals are not eligible.
2. The entry form should carry a brief description of the repair or conservation project carried out. If the application is shortlisted, the judges are likely to request more detailed information about it. Reference should be made to the criteria listed below. The form should be accompanied by a small selection of photographs (maximum 12 suggested), showing the project before, during and after.
3. The award is for a specific repair to a single element of the building and not a general programme of works. Work of repair on any scale will be eligible, but it must be to the fabric of the building (e.g. spires, towers, roofs, walls, floors, windows, etc.), or to internal fixed or freestanding significant furnishings (e.g. murals, monuments, screens, tombs, fixed pews, pulpits, etc).
4. Work that enlarges an ecclesiastical building or rearranges its internal space to accommodate alternative uses will not be eligible.
5. The work must have been completed during the previous 18 months.
6. All submissions will be examined by three judges at SPAB, and a shortlist prepared. The judges are chosen by the Guardians and will visit the short-listed building in the company of a representative of the applicant.
7. The winner may be asked to submit, without a fee, a 1500 word article suitable for publication in the Society's magazine and supported by adequate illustrations, and provide two A2 size portrait display boards for exhibition purposes.
8. The award is made to the place of worship and not to any individual responsible for the work.
9. All applications to be made in hard copy and delivered to SPAB.
10. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS
The judges will be looking for work that is firmly based on the principles of conservative repair advocated by the SPAB since 1877.
Among other criteria they will be looking to see:
· A reasoned argument for the need for the repair work, including the philosophical basis for the repairs proposed
· Repair techniques formulated in response to a detailed analysis of the problems
· The appropriateness and honesty of the solution adopted – materials and detailing
· The extent to which loss of original fabric was limited during the work
· The quality of craftsmanship and materials used
· The quality of recording and/or monitoring of the work in progress
· The appropriateness of the repair in relation to the rest of the building
The architectural quality of the building is less important than the quality of the repair. It is not essential that the building is listed as being of architectural interest.